Our venues

Blog

Posts tagged with 'world cultures'

What does World Cultures mean to you?

20 September 2019 by Emma Martin

We are curious. We want to know what the words ‘World Cultures’ mean to you? It is the name of World Museum’s biggest gallery, but does it really display the world? In May 2019, as we began the process of changing the World Cultures gallery we asked visitors to share their thoughts on that very question: What does World Cultures mean to you? We’ve received nearly 200 replies, so a big ‘Thank You’ if you took the time to post your comments. While each postcard was written from a personal point of view, we wanted to see if your responses had things in common that could help us make sense of what visitors get from a visit to the ‘World Cultures’ gallery. We have read and digitally scanned every card and with the help of Tim Medland, a University of Leicester MA student, we have identified a number of themes and words that appear regularly in your responses, which you can see in Tim’s word cloud. Read more…

What next for human remains collections at the World Museum?

19 June 2019 by Emma Martin

Emma Martin, Senior Curator at World Museum introducing the discussion with a copy of the Human Remains policy that is currently being reviewed. Left to right: Angela Stienne, Constantine Eliopoulous, Ashley Cooke, Ben Jones and Chrissy Partheni. Image by Donna Young

This is a guest blog by Angela Stienne (Science Museum, London) who recently chaired two public debates on human remains in museums at World Museum for the #WMWhereNext initiative.

On Friday 17 May, World Museum hosted two public debates on human remains in museums, as part of the LightNight Liverpool festival. The aim of these debates was to probe public opinion on the retention and display of human remains in museums through votes via smartphones, but also to engage the public in a convivial conversation on a very important topic for the museum: what next for human remains collections at the World Museum? I was invited by the World Museum to moderate the debate, as part of my Medicine Galleries Research Fellowship at the Science Museum, which focuses on human remains in the 21st century museum. I am here sharing some thoughts on this very inspiring and thoughtful evening, and what this means for the future of engagements with human remains in museums. Read more…

Where Next for the World Cultures gallery?

10 April 2019 by Emma Martin

If you’ve visited World Museum you’ll know the World Cultures gallery has incredible collections from Africa, Asia, Oceania and The Americas, but the presentation is now out of date and perpetuates stereotypes and assumptions about people and places. I am one of a group of people working in the museum who is increasingly questioning the relevance of these displays and thinking about new ways to use objects to understand our collective past, present and future.

We agree that the gallery needs to change, but the question is how to do it?

Read more…

Making connections through online collections

18 May 2017 by Emma Martin

A chod pan is worn by Tibetan Buddhist monks or lamas during religious ceremonies. The five panels feature the tathagatas or the Five Celestial Buddhas.

Sometimes, correcting mistakes found in the museum’s records leads to new and completely unexpected connections. This recently happened to me. I’ve spent more than ten years working my way through the Tibet collections here at World Museum. As I document the collections I try and fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge: do I know who made the object (often I don’t)? Do I know who once owned the objects (sometimes I do)? How did they collect the object? What do we know about the collector who sold or donated the objects to the museum? Read more…

Drawing inspiration from the museum stores

21 August 2014 by Zachary

Atta Kwami sketching African artefacts in the museum store

Atta Kwami sketching African artefacts in the museum store. Image courtesy Pamela Clarkson.

Not all museum projects are part of a long-term plan. Some come about by chance and it was through a stroke of good luck that I was at World Museum when the Ghanaian artist and curator Atta Kwami paid a visit to the African displays in our World Cultures gallery a few months ago. On that occasion I was able to meet Atta over a coffee in the museum café to discuss his current work.  Read more…

Uncovering the fascinating costumes and ornaments of northeastern India

24 July 2014 by Emma Martin

1965.177

Chrissy Partheni, Head of Museum Partnerships has been working in Ethnology to widen her curatorial skills. She has recently started to document a fascinating collection from northeastern India and here she gives us an insight into the objects she is working with: Read more…

Reconnecting with the ancestors at World Museum

30 June 2014 by Zachary

Patrice and Iva

Patrice and Iva in World Cultures Gallery with a portrait of their grandfather and great grandfather.

As curator of the African collections at World Museum I often take groups of visitors round our World Cultures Gallery. I also take individuals and smaller groups, with special interests, behind the scenes to show them our stored collections. Many are students or scholars involved in special research projects, and although they often get excited about what they find in our collections, their interests are mostly intellectual and aesthetic. But recently I had a visit that was rather different because it was from cousins Patrice Wellesley Cole and Iva Johnson.

Read more…

Ancient African Empires

22 April 2014 by Mitty

bronze sculpture of a woman's head

Benin sculpture of the Queen Mother’s head

Fred, an Education Demonstrator at the International Slavery Museum, has written about one of the fascinating aspects of African history that you can find out about in the museum:

“As a slavery museum, we also learn about West Africa. European slave traders justified their mistreatment and exploitation of African people by painting a picture of Africa as a simple or “primitive” place compared to European civilisations. In reality, a series of powerful empires, with skilled craftsmen and complex societies existed in West Africa before and during the period of transatlantic slavery, including the once mighty Kingdom of Benin. We’ve added new objects to our Life in West Africa session to reflect this. Read more…

Magic at the museum

22 January 2014 by Zachary

Piece of stone

Irish type stone axe head (or ‘celt’) found in Parliament Fields, Toxteth Park, in 1866. This is probably the stone axe used to cure the Irish lad mentioned in the 1897 report.

World Museum is currently hosting the ‘Magic Worlds’ exhibition. It’s a fun and child-centred look at the miraculous, fantastical, illusional and folkloric – including everything from magicians to fairytales. The exhibition got me thinking about the role that ‘magic’ has played in the museum collection that I curate – the African collection. It’s true to say that there is a darker side to the long relationship that museums have had with all things ‘magical’.  Read more…

Preparation for new exhibition at World Museum, Liverpool

16 April 2013 by Louise Beard

Elena performing traditional Indian dancing

Traditional Indian Dancing

This May sees a new exhibition, ‘Telling Tales: the art of Indian Storytelling’, opening at World Museum, Liverpool. The exhibition will run from 24 May until 8 September 2013 and will feature artwork and scrolls by Indian artists who draw on both traditional Indian tales and contemporary issues in their art. Objects from NML’s own Indian collection will be displayed alongside the scrolls making for an interesting dialogue between old and new. The exhibition will also include a life size series of projections of Elena Catalano performing traditional Indian dancing. Read more…



About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.